Crack Repair for Your Decorative Concrete Surfaces Crack Repair for Your Decorative Concrete Surfaces

What You'll Need
Retail poured grout
Mason's hammer
Concrete patching material (vinyl based)
Wire brush
Vacuum cleaner
Steel trowel

Like most other construction materials, decorative concrete can develop cracks over time from constant use. Most cracks are caused by faulty design or construction errors committed when pouring a concrete surface. Cracks can also develop from exposure to extreme temperature or moisture changes.

Concrete counters and concrete tiles can crack due to continued exposure to water. Whether you are repairing cracked internal, decorative surfaces or external structures like walkways and patios, here are some basic instructions you should followed.

Preparing Cracked Concrete Surface

Every crack should be cleaned of loose debris and dirt. You can use a wire brush for this purpose. If there is too much dust, using a vacuum cleaner is another option. External concrete surfaces could have excessive amounts of weathered concrete bits. They can be cleaned by with a chisel. The surface should be cleaned with a minimal amount of water. After dabbing the surface with water, try to estimate the actual size of the crack. Based upon this estimation, you can proceed in the following manner:

1. Repairing Small Concrete Cracks

Small cracks that are relatively new and don’t seem to extend beyond the surface can be easily repaired. The preferred material for filling such cracks is poured grout. This material is preferred for cracks that are smaller than .5-inches in diameter.

  • Ensure that the prepared, cracked surface doesn't have any stagnating water.
  • Shake the grout container and cut off the tip. The cutout hole should be a bit bigger than the crack’s width.
  • Slowly pour the grout in the crack, gradually filling it.
  • If you realize during the repairing process that the crack is deeper than the estimation, try using repeated layers of grout.
  • When applying multiple grout layers, allow each layer to dry before applying a fresh layer.

2. Repairing Large Concrete Cracks

Concrete cracks that are more than .5-inches wide need a slightly more elaborate repair. These cracks often occur around the joints due to extremely heavy, overlying weights.

  • Using the mason's hammer and chisel, widen the crack. Do so will ensure that the repair is comprehensive, meaning the internal surface is also repaired. This process is often called undercutting.
  • Mix the vinyl patching material as per the instructions.
  • Slowly press the vinyl patching into the cracks.
  • You can apply multiple layers for adding extra strength to the cracked surface.
  • Each layer should be .25-inches thick.
  • Let each layer dry before applying a new one.
  • Using the steel trowel, finish the repaired surface. Doing so helps the repaired crack to blend with the adjoining surfaces.
  • You can also use a wooden pan with a handle, a broom and an iron brush for creating a basic finished appearance.

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